Abdominal pain is not something you should live with. You may notice it after eating or it may sit with you most of the day. Often, it’s accompanied by nausea, vomiting, gas, and bloating.
Abdominal pain has many causes, many of which originate in your digestive tract, which means our team at GastroDoxs can diagnose what’s wrong and treat it so you feel better.
Here are four of the most common causes of abdominal pain and how we can help.
Sometimes called the stomach flu, gastroenteritis is a common cause of temporary abdominal pain. Because it’s usually caused by bacteria or viruses that just need to run their course, your pain should resolve on its own within a couple of days.
Suspect gastroenteritis if others around you are also suffering symptoms, as gastroenteritis is contagious.
Other symptoms that suggest gastroenteritis include:
- Nausea and vomiting
Usually, you’ll have abdominal cramping that comes on somewhat suddenly. If the condition persists past a few days, do make an appointment at our office to make sure it’s not a different type of infection or inflammatory disease.
Constipation is usually defined as having fewer than three bowel movements per week, straining to have regular bowel movements, or having hard, lumpy stools that are difficult to pass.
If you experience constipation for three months or longer, it’s diagnosed as chronic constipation. A side effect of having waste collecting in the bowel without adequate release is pressure on the colon and subsequent pain.
If you notice abdominal pain and symptoms of constipation, definitely make an appointment at GastroDoxs. Dietary adjustments, lifestyle changes, medication switches, and other interventions may help you find relief.
3. Irritable bowel syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), causes a combination of symptoms, including diarrhea and/or constipation, abdominal cramping, gas, and bloating. You may also notice mucus in your stool. Often your abdominal pain happens in reaction to eating certain foods and is relieved by you having a bowel movement.
The disorder affects the large intestine and may have to do with how your central nervous system functions and the operation of the muscles along this digestive canal. IBS can interfere with your quality of life. Episodes often flare in response to stress or certain foods, like dairy and beans.
We can help you manage your IBS with lifestyle changes that include drinking plenty of fluids and getting regular exercise. In addition, changes to your diet that include adding more fiber (if you’re prone to IBS with constipation) and avoiding foods with certain sugars and gluten can help.
4. Inflammatory bowel disease
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a collection of conditions that includes Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Both conditions cause abdominal pain, along with possible rectal bleeding, diarrhea, fatigue, and weight loss.
These conditions may occur due to a malfunction of your immune system. Both Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis are serious, long-term conditions that require expert management like that offered here at GastroDoxs. We can help you manage symptoms and avoid complications.
Treatments commonly offered include immunosuppressants, antibiotics, and nutritional support. If your condition progresses to a point at which you’d benefit from surgery, Dr. Bharat Pothuri is ready to help.
If you’re in the greater Houston, Texas, area and suffer with regular abdominal pain, schedule an appointment with us at GastroDoxs. We can evaluate your symptoms, provide diagnosis, and develop a treatment plan to help you find relief and avoid complications. Call our office today or use the online booking tool to request an appointment.